Dimapur: Nagaland’s lone Lok Sabha member Neiphiu Rio on Thursday said that he quit the ruling Naga People’s Front (NPF) after it decided to severe ties with the BJP ahead of the February 27 assembly elections.
Rio said that he joined the newly-floated Nagaland Democratic People’s Party (NDPP) after its leaders declared that the party was committed towards supporting the peace process and contributed towards relisation of early solution to the vexed Naga insurgency problem.
His joining the new political party is significant amid the power struggle within the recently “reconciled” ruling NPF.
Rio said that he has always been a supporter of peace process between the Naga rebels and the Indian government and have tirelessly worked for early realization of a political solution that is honourable, sustainable and acceptable to the people.
On August 3, 2015, the central government and the separatist group, the National Socialist Council of Nagaland Issac-Muivah (NSCN-IM) signed the Framework Agreement to end the insurgency. Last year, the government had also signed an agreement with a Working Committee comprising six Naga National Political Groups.
“The signing of the Framework Agreement under the present NDA government was an important milestone in the peace process and I have joined all sections in welcoming the initiatives while giving my best efforts for further strengthening the peace process in an inclusive manner,” Rio said.
“The political decision of the NPF (to snap ties with the BJP) was in contravention of the NPF party’s stand of supporting the peace process to play the role of facilitator between the Naga rebels and the Indian government.
“It is under such political circumstances that I have been left with no option but to resign from the NPF in accordance of the wishes of the people and in the greater interest of the masses in collective endeavour to bring early political solution,” he said.